Employment Laws in Michigan

Employment laws are put in place to protect employees of all nationalities and in all types of work throughout the United States. Workers deserve fair wages for their effort as well as safe working conditions, and compensation of that safety is violated.

Hiring Employees

In Michigan, discrimination based on race, gender or age is not allowed. One exception for age discrimination is a bartending job, where employees must be above a certain age to handle the product. During an interview, religious affiliations or disabilities cannot be discussed. Employers cannot discriminate based on family standing, such as if the candidate has children.

Wage Requirements

As of July 1, 2008, Michigan’s minimum wage is $7.40 an hour for those over 18 years of age. Those under 18 years of age must earn at least $7.25 per hour. Young employees between the ages of 16 and 19 are eligible for a training wage of $4.25 per hour during their first 90 days of employment. And those who receive tips based on the nature of their job can make as little as $2.95 per hour. However, the tips they receive must bring their pay up to the minimum wage requirement or the employer is required to make up the difference.

Overtime wages are given at time-and-a half pay. An employee’s hours are considered overtime when they’ve worked more than a 40 hour work week. Employers can also grant compensatory time off instead of the extra pay, if the employee is willing.

Taking Time Off

Though some may choose to do so, employers aren’t required to provide vacation time – whether paid or unpaid – for employees. Larger companies with 50 or more employees must offer sick time for those who need time to care for themselves or their immediate family members. This time is unpaid and may not apply to extended family. Serving on a jury will necessitate time off. The employees may not be paid, but their job will be secure.

Keeping Employees Safe

Michigan employment laws require that employees be adequately trained for their job to prevent injury while working. Equipment must also be monitored for safety, and the work area should be free from hazards. Employees are encouraged to report problems to their superiors. They can’t be fired or demoted for reporting a hazard that needs to be fixed.

Compensation for Injury

If an injury does occur, the employer is required to provide adequate compensation. Michigan companies that employ three or more workers must have workers compensation coverage. Workers compensation insurance will provide medical care and money for any rehabilitation needed after a work-related injury.

Quitting the Job or Being Fired

Michigan state practices “at will” employment. This gives both the employer and the employee the freedom to terminate the working relationship for any reason at any time. Unless a contract has been signed or a handbook is provided that stipulates steps for leaving the job, employees are free to quit. Employers are also free to let a worker go, provided the reason isn’t discriminatory.

If you have any questions regarding employment laws in the state of Michigan or another state, contact a local labor lawyer for more information.

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